Friday, December 27, 2013

Is It The Church Or A Non-profit Incorporation?

On sort of the same theme as my post yesterday I ran across this blog post last night by Jason Savage Why I'm Leaving The "Ministry". It is written by a vocational pastor who is leaving that behind. I really appreciated this paragraph and want to focus especially on something he said (emphasis mine)

The reality is, I can no longer handle the “professionalism” of the church. I’m tired of running a non-profit incorporation that calls itself a church. I’m tired of feeling limited in the scope of relationships because of some strange “loyalty” to a particular name on a church that pays my salary. Truthfully, I don’t particularly like what God showed me about myself in these last seven years. I realize now he was first calling me to preach repentance to myself.

That is so incredibly true, especially that third sentence. When you depend on a paycheck from one religious organization it twists your relationship to other Christians and especially other local churches. Whether you admit it or not, or even are aware of it or not, our religious system turns what should be co-operative entities into competitors, all looking to create their own market niche in the form of distinctives. Come to our church, we are Reformed! Come to our church, we have a great youth program! Come to our church, we offer both contemporary and traditional worship! Come to our church, we have a sweet latte bar! Come to our church, we are an independent, fundamental, King James Only church! When you look at the church ads in publications you start wondering if you are gathering with the church or shopping for a used car. Making disciples is hard work but poaching church attenders from other churches is pretty easy. Of course the same existing church attenders are being marketed to by other churches and they are also aiming for your people so not only do you have to be constantly refining your marketing plan to get new attenders in the front door, you also have top be careful of losing check writers members out the back door. Any successful business knows this, a great sales strategy is worthless if you don't pay attention to retention.

I think there are a lot of vocational pastors who feel the same way as Jason but as he notes: .

I know many paid leaders in churches would be liberated by not being paid by the church. The problem is they haven’t been trained to do anything else. So out of fear, they stay. I wish more would actually leave the “Ministry”.

Eric Carpenter can tell you first hand how difficult the transition can be. It was a great post to read, I would encourage you to give it a read and leave a note. It can be a lonely road when you do something that doesn't make sense to most people in the church so kind words of encouragement would certainly be welcome!


Neil Braithwaite said...

Spot on! It's weird how I'll get a revelation about a specific thing and then other bloggers who share the simple church philosophy seem to get the same revelation - at about the same time. Did you read my post about this very thing: "Church Cannibalism: The consequence of being out of God’s will" at

Arthur Sido said...

I have not Neil but I will!